Tire Leaking Air Around Rim (What To Do, Can You Fix It + More)

As a car owner, you need properly working tires for a seamless driving experience; however, your tires could still develop problems despite the introduction of the more advanced tubeless tires.

Tire leakage is one of the most common issues for most drivers because it happens unexpectedly. If your tire has a leak around the rim, how do you fix it? Here’s all you need to know!

Tire Leaking Air Around Rim

Tires leak air around the rim because of punctures, tire bead damage, ripped tires, rim problems, or deteriorating valve systems. To fix the leak, drivers have to remove the tire to reseat the bead and reseal, which can be done at home if you have the appropriate equipment or with the help of a mechanic if the inner-tube tires need fixing.

For more information about what causes the tire to leak around the rim, how to fix and prevent it, and how much it will cost to repair your tires, read on!

Why Is My Tire Leaking Around The Rim?

Identifying a rim tire leak can be difficult to notice at first if your car has a slow leak; however, if your vehicle has a built-in tire-pressure monitor system or TPMS, you’ll get a low-pressure notification because the leak causes the PSI )pounds per square inch) to decrease.
If your tire is leaking, here are the reasons why this could be happening.

Tire Puncture

Once you run over a sharp object, you could puncture your tire. While most drivers assume that the puncture will cause the tire to go flat immediately, this is not usually the case, and the hole might cause a slow two-to-three PSI leak per week.

In some cases, the sharp object like a nail can remain lodged in the tire, which prevents the air from leaking out quickly.

Whether it’s a minor damage or not, you shouldn’t ignore the leak as this may lead to extensive tears and tire damage.

According to The Inflator, approximately seven tire punctures occur every second in the U.S. alone; therefore, this is the first thing you should check for when there’s a leak.

Valve Stem Damage

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Valve stems are critical parts of the tire system, and they come in different forms and sizes depending on the tire.

These stems are the tiny protrusions on your tire that you unscrew during inflation; therefore, they need to be in good shape, without any damages or dirt-clogged.

Additionally, when valve stems get exposed to elements over time, they become worn out or corroded, which can cause the air to leak around the rim.

Bead Leak

Tire leaks can also result from bead damage, where the tire seals itself to the rim.

To know whether the bead is the problem, you’ll need to determine how old the tire is because if your tire has dry rot or is older, it may no longer seal properly and have reduced elasticity.

Additionally, beads also get damaged because of a corroded rim or when the tire is mounted or removed using a tire lube.

Your entire wheel gets this type of damage if you regularly hit potholes or bumps at high speed, deforming the wheel’s metal surface, which may cause the tire to pull away.

Keep in mind that if the bead is damaged and you can’t seal the tire to the rim, you have to replace the tire.

Rim Issues

Rim Issues

If you are using aluminum or magnesium alloy wheels, your wheels are more susceptible to corrosion, which affects the part where the rim meets the tire bead.

Rim damage can be caused by several causes, especially if you are constantly driving on bad roads with many potholes.

Before installing new tires, ensure your technician checks the bead seal and wheel correctly to confirm that the rims are not corroded.

Furthermore, check for wheel porosity that causes air to leak from the rim due to corrosion, incorrect wheel weights, or poor casting. To fix the leaking issue, avoid injecting a tire sealant and fix the rim first.

How To Fix A Tire Leaking Around The Rim?

Once you discover that your tire is leaking air around the rim, what next? Here are some steps to guide you.

1. Remove The Tire

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To identify the cause of the leak, you’ll need to remove the tire and place it on a flat surface with the valve stems facing up.

2. Fill The Tire And Rim With Soapy Water

Add soapy water to your tire; around the outer edge of the rim, the area of the leak will be identifiable through bubbles from the leaking air. Mark the area and move to the next step.

3. Release Air From The Valve Stem

After you’ve marked the area, empty the air from your tire by pressing inward on the valve system using the valve removing kit in your car or unscrewing it from the stem.

4. Separate The Tire and Rim

Since the tire and the rim are attached with a seal, you’ll need something heavy like a wood board to separate them.

Use a hammer to hit the wooden plank until the tire’s bead breaks free from the rim.

5. Clean The Tire and Repair

5. Clean The Tire and Repair

Once the two parts separate, you can stop the leak around the rim by cleaning the tire’s edges with a cloth to remove loose debris and dirt.

After the cleaning is done, you can add some repairing solution to the leakage and start filling the air.

Once you fill the tire with the desired air pressure, you can check again for any leakages using the same process with soapy water.

How Much Does It Cost To Fix A Tire Rim Leak?

Fixing a tire rim leak can be expensive or affordable, depending on the leak’s cause and where you get the service done.

According to customer reviews, if you get the leak repaired at the shop you bought the tire from, you are more likely to get this service for free, but if you go to a different dealer, expect to pay $10-$20.

However, if the leak is because of a damaged rim, you’ll incur more costs which vary greatly depending on the brand.

If you check popular online sites, rims’ prices range from under $25 to $200; therefore, it will cost you more to repair the leakage if you have to replace the rim or entire tire.

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How Do I Prevent My Tires From Leaking Around The Rim?

How Do I Prevent My Tires From Leaking Around The Rim?

To avoid this tire leak, there are some preventive measures that you can take.

Regular Maintenance

As mentioned above, tire leakage can result from valve stems or rims that are dirt clogged; therefore, you need to check your tires regularly.

With more accidents connected to tire blowouts and issues, it’s safer to have your tires checked for any potential problems to prevent leaking around the rim.

Drive Carefully

We have already established that punctures are the number one cause of tire leakage; therefore, if you can, it’s best to avoid situations that could cause punctures.

To achieve this, you should drive more carefully and at recommended speeds, especially on roads with potholes or speed bumps.

Avoid Overinflating Tires

Overinflating tires doesn’t solve a tire leakage problem. Once you identify that air is leaking around the rim, follow the above steps I shared to fix the issue.

However, if you choose to overinflate, the tires will become unstable, rigid, and lose traction when you are driving.

Use A Professional Mechanic

According to the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association, drivers should supplement their monthly inspections with regular professional tire care.

The check should include wheel balancing, alignment, and tire inspection to protect your tires from leaking air.

To find out more, you can also read our posts on how common are flat tires, underinflated tires, and how long will tires last with bad alignment.


Tires leak air around the rim for several reasons, but luckily this problem can be fixed and prevented.

While it’s possible to fix a leak at home using the kit from your car, you can also enlist the services of a professional mechanic if you spot extensive damage.

I have shared some simple steps that you can take to fix the leak, especially if you are doing it at home.

To avoid these tire problems, regularly check your tires for air pressure and damages at least once a month, consult professional mechanics, and drive carefully to avoid incurring extra repair costs.

2 thoughts on “Tire Leaking Air Around Rim (What To Do, Can You Fix It + More)”

  1. Another outstanding article from you!

    My left front tire had a slow leak that required me to refill it once every two weeks or so. And the tire pressure light would come on.

    I had my tire checked out by 2 different tire shops and they both told me they couldn’t find a hole or anything and that my tire is probably just old.

    2 weeks ago, I had all 4 tires replaced because the tread was pretty worn down and it was time. I thought that my leaky tire issue was fixed, but yesterday the tire pressure light came on.

    Is there any issue with the wheel?

  2. Rim Leaks are driving me nuts.
    I told the tech at the tire shop that I was about get a few cans of Stop Leak and spray in each offending tire.


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